Keynote Speakers

Frances Valintine | Dr Grant Klinkum | Tim Fowler | Grant McPherson | Andy Jackson | Speaker TBA

Frances Valintine CNZM

Founder & CEO -The Mind Lab & Tech Futures Lab

Frances Valintine CNZM is a passionate educator and technologist who is focused on challenging the traditional education structure and its ability to fully prepare the generations of tomorrow for the changing world. For over 20 years she has been dedicated to shifting education and business practice to develop the capabilities and mindsets needed to respond to the future of work and industry and ensure a thriving Aotearoa New Zealand.

In 2013 she founded The Mind Lab, a unique offering designed to empower students and educators to develop applied digital knowledge and capability. The Mind Lab has enabled an entire generation of teachers and educators to upskill and develop their confidence in emerging digital technologies, and to rethink the model of learning and education and support school-aged children to foster these critical skills. The immediate impact The Mind Lab has earned the organisation the title of Best Start-Up in Asia Pacific as judged by Steve Wozniak and Sir Richard Branson in 2014.

A Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her lifetime contribution to education and technology (2018), Frances has received numerous awards recognising her passion and commitment to supporting the young and more mature to seek opportunities and reach their potential. In 2020 Frances received the Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business at the CIO Awards. Her past accolades also include:
2017: the NZ Flying Kiwi Award, inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame and named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year the NZer of the Year awards.
2016: named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International; awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award.
2015: awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education)

Driven by a strong sense of purpose to support positive growth for Aotearoa, Frances also sits on the boards of Watercare and Dilworth School Trust. She is also a selection adviser to EHF (Edmund Hillary Foundation), a judge on the Hi Tech Awards, a mentor to a number of female technology leaders (in NZ and India), and a Director to On Being Bold, a platform to support and encourage emerging female leaders and year 13 students to dream big.

She holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne.

Presentation brief: The Digital Democratisation of Education

Over 2 billion students had their learning disrupted by Covid-19. Learning Institutes across the globe had to deploy rapid workarounds and adopt online solutions to respond to unprecedented education disruption.

Across Aotearoa students moved to their dining tables to learn, connect and engage. But as we look to the future how will education recalibrate to meet new expectations? Frances will explore the world of online education and digitalisation as the world shifts gears for a very different future.


Dr Grant Klinkham

Chief Executive – NZQA | Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa

Grant joined NZQA in early 2014, and has held the roles of Deputy Chief Executive Strategic and Corporate Services and Deputy Chief Executive Quality Assurance. Prior to taking up the Chief Executive role, Grant was seconded to the Ministry of Education as Acting Deputy Secretary for Graduate Achievement, Vocations and Careers.

While working at the Tertiary Education Commission between 2007 and 2014, Grant was responsible at different times for stakeholder engagement, the Chief Executive’s office and the Tertiary Investment function. He has also previously worked as Deputy Chief Executive for an Institute of Technology, and Dean of Faculty at two tertiary education organisations.

Grant has a PhD in Political Science from Victoria University of Wellington, a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Massey University and a Master of Arts from the University of Canterbury.

Presentation brief:

Grant will be well known to many ITENZ members and he looks forward each year to updating members on operational policy issues and hearing the thoughts and questions of ITENZ members. This year Grant will cover qualification issues related to RoVE, international education issues within the purview of NZQA, implementation of the new Code of pastoral care and changes to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.


Tim Fowler

Chief Executive – Tertiary Education Commission

Tim Fowler is Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, a position he has held since April 2013.  He was previously Deputy Chief Executive, Quality Assurance at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  Tim has held international and management positions in Australia and New Zealand in both the private and university sectors after starting his career in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

Tim has an Honours Degree from Victoria University, a Masters from the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii, and executive education from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and INSEAD. 

Tim is married to Louise and they have two children, Samantha and Zac.

Presentation brief: Moving forward together

The session will update on the Reform of Vocational Education and what it means for TEC, for the sector, for employers and for students or trainees, with a focus on how TEC and PTEs can work together to ensure the best outcomes for learners.


Grant McPherson

Chief Executive – Education New Zealand

Grant McPherson leads Education New Zealand in taking New Zealand’s education experiences to the world for enduring economic, social and cultural benefits for all New Zealand.
In response to COVID-19, Grant chairs the International Education Chief Executives’ Group. Together with peers from other government agencies with interests in international education, the group helps drive the Government’s Recovery Plan for our sector.
He also lives and breathes international education – he is an international student himself, his children have international study experience and he has hosted students in Wellington with his family.
Prior to his role at ENZ, Grant was Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager, Strategy at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE), following extensive experience as Regional Director, South/South East Asia and Group General Manager, Business Solutions on the NZTE Leadership team. 


Andy Jackson

Deputy Secretary for Tertiary and International Education – Ministry of Education Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Andy Jackson is the Deputy Secretary responsible for Tertiary and International Education at the Ministry of Education Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga. The Group is responsible for policy, strategy and analysis for the whole post-compulsory education and training system including regulation, funding and student financing. It is also responsible for policy on international education in schools, and the Ministry’s international engagement.  The Group works closely with partner agencies including the Tertiary Education Commission, NZQA, Education NZ, Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue.

Andy has a 20+ year career in public policy and operations, most of it in New Zealand. He has previously managed teams responsible for labour market, immigration and tertiary education policy at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Tertiary Education Commission, where he also worked in operations. He has also worked as a Senior Analyst at the Treasury on a diverse range of issues including serving as advisor to the Treasury Secretary.

He originates from the far north of England, coming to New Zealand in 2004, where he lives with Michelle and three Wellington-born children.  He has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Policy from Victoria University.

Presentation brief:

Priorities and themes in government tertiary education policy and what they mean for PTEs.